Lessons learned from my dog


By Jimmy Cochran

Columnist


I was browsing a website recently about rescue dogs and it got my mind thinking about getting another pet. Those of you who remember my dog, Murphy, know that when he died, a part of me died, too. And, I’m not sure I’m ready to open my heart up to that again. If you didn’t read about Murphy in my early columns, I thought I’d share an “oldy, but goody” with you this week. Maybe by doing so, I can feel that my heart is healing. Who knows, but, anyway, please meet the best dog in the world … Murphy.

Do you ever wonder what good you are possibly doing for the Kingdom of God? After all, your day is full of work, school, car pools, soccer, baseball, church, homework, taking care of children or aging parents, trying to have some type of social life, etc. So, then you fall into bed at the end of the day and (hopefully) at least say a prayer and read a scripture at some point, but, you are dead tired and wonder what difference you have made in someone’s life for God today? And how you can possibly do any better. And it can lead to a frustrating situation.

My dog Murphy taught me the other day that even a little bit done can make a difference. My grass is brown. Brown all over. Dead looking brown. A field of dead hay would look as good as my front yard. Crayola doesn’t even make a crayon color with this same ugly shade of brown. Get the point? When I was walking Murphy one afternoon I noticed that there were all these little holes about an inch or so in diameter all over the front yard. While I wondered what in the world (or what alien being) inhabited my yard, I happened to notice Murphy walking across the yard to do what, well, to do what dogs do when they are outside. At least what they do after they sniff every available leaf, cigarette butt, wet paper and dead bug.

Anyway, I noticed that his feet were making these little holes as he walked across the barren dead yard. If you know me much at all, you know how even a shiny object can fascinate me for hours, so I started to look down into these holes to see what was in there. You know what I saw? I saw more dead grass. But, deeper down in there I saw little blades of green new life. The grass was growing! It was just covered up with old stuff and Murphy was uncovering it! Over the next day or two, I noticed that where all these little Murphy footprints were, that the new grass was growing quicker and higher than anywhere else in the yard. Of course, it looks rather strange now to have all these little pockets of green in the midst of the brown, but they are there. They just had a little help from my terrier.

Now, where am I going with this? Murphy was just going about his normal daily routine, doing what dogs do. His feet are little and hardly make a dent, but it was enough to open up a small space to let the light in and start new growth.

We are the same way. If we go about our daily lives, doing what we normally do at work, school, home, wherever we are, AND if we do it as we live Christ’s example here on earth ... we make that little dent in someone’s life, let some of God’s light in and allow new life to begin to grow. We don’t have to teach Sunday School, sing in the choir, lead a missions group, or any other church “things” to do the Kingdom work. We just have to live, as Christ wants us to live, meet people where they are, and make that little dent in their lives.

And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.

Jimmy Cochran is a resident of McDonough, a musician, a minister and the author of Being God’s and Staying God’s, both available at Amazon.com. Being God’s is also available at Moye’s Pharmacy in McDonough.